After the awful Summer we have had here in Scotland, it was a pleasant surprise to have some Summer weather at the beginning of September!
I kept checking the forecast and was amazed they were predicting a week of dry, calm sunny weather for the Cairngorm area!
Bags all packed I headed North leaving the house at 3am in the Morning. I could only afford the time to spend 2 days there, so was making every minute count. I got to Aviemore at 6am and decided to head up the Cairngorm mountain at the ski resort. I have never been here before in the Summer and it looked quite different without the snow I was used to seeing. In the Spring I was here and got some lovely images of ptarmigam with the plummage gradually turning to darker feathers. I headed out on the trails and was back at the car within 4 hours as I never saw a ptarmigan or mountain hare anywhere! They must be at a higher altitude than in the Winter so came back slightly dejected.
I decided to go to my other location for mountain hares and red grouse. This has always been a reliable site and sure enough there was plenty of grouse and a few hares about. The moorland looked stunning with the purple heather and the sunlight really enhanced the colours on display. I decided to climb to the top of the mountain and saw large hares running about. They seemed more active dinner time around than in Winter which made it more challenging to get close enough for a decent image. The other challenge was the midgys! No wind or even a breeze made it virtually impossible to photograph particulary as you wanted to get low in the heather. I used the Jungle insect repellant but this wasn't working. I ended up wearing a face net, that certainly helped.
Anyway I was rewarded with some beautiful light in the Cairngorms that made the wildlife look even more attractive. This part of scotland is certainly breathtaking! Rich in wildlife and so peaceful and remote to photograph undisturbed!